Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tidbits: Wes Anderson news, a flashy new Bond trailer and, yes, a poll!

Though I've never bothered to put a poll on here before now, it's not because I don't care about the opinions of the few people who are kind enough to stop by here from time to time. I simply don't like to mess with the template too much because I'm most likely to just screw it up!

However, with the Fall season upon us, I've finally broken down and bowed to my lame duck president's command to spread democracy around the world and do my little part. It's not the most scientific poll, since you can vote for more than one movie, but I hope it provides a few seconds of diversion.

As I made clear in my Fall preview, the three movies that get me the most geeked up would be, probably in this order, "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Brothers Bloom" and "Miracle at St. Anna." I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks.

In other news that's not about, well, me, it seems that Wes Anderson is jumping on the French remake train. Before I slag the man at all, and since I haven't talked about him for quite a while, let me state that I just about unequivocally love Mr. Anderson's first three flicks, with "Rushmore" being just about a perfect comedy and "The Royal Tenenbaums" being even better. (The Criterion edition of "Tenenbaums," by the way, is one of the very best in the collection, and well worth a rental to sift through the extras about how Anderson and his crew concocted the Tenenbaums' weird little world.

His last two flicks, however, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "Darjeeling Limited," just left me pretty cold (though that collection of David Bowie songs in Portuguese by Seu Jorge is still in fairly heavy rotation on my car CD player.) He's listed as being in "post-production" on Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" because, well, apparently every director in the world gets to make at least one animated movie, and now (in a rather severe case of burying the lead) comes news about a "new project" he's writing and possibly directing for Universal.

And if you're gonna pilfer from the French, I suppose you could do a whole lot worse than Patrice LeConte. I haven't seen the work Anderson is set to take on, "Mon Meilleur Ami," but that will change in a few days when it comes from Netflix (last night I watched "In Bruges," and I can attest that while it's often entertaining in its wordplay, it's just one of the strangest little flicks I've ever seen.)

In LeConte's 2006 film, French everyman Daniel Auteuil plays "a cranky antiques dealer who learns at a dinner with his closest acquaintances that none of them really like him because of his harsh manner and selfishness. When his business partner bets him a valuable vase that he can’t produce a best friend, the dealer tries to get an amiable cab driver to pose as his buddy," according to Variety.

As someone who finds himself fairly cranky as I get older, that sounds like it could be a lot of fun to me, and just might give Anderson the boost he needs to get back in my good graces (because I'm certain he's lost a lot of sleep about that!)

And now, since this has clearly has gone on long enough, I'll close with the promised "Quantum of Solace" trailer, which at a full two-and-a-half minutes is just a lot of fun. It looks like it starts out as a pretty straightforward revenge flick about the death of Vesper (the mesmerizing Eva Green), but of course spirals into a lot more than that, and like "Casino Royale" just looks like an old-fashioned Bond flick in all the best ways. Enjoy, and have a perfectly bearable Thursday.

P.S.: There's also a spot of sad news out there in that writer Gregory MacDonald has died at age 71.

MacDonald, a prolific mystery writer, was best know for his "Fletch" novels, two of which I read and four of which were made into flicks. I love the novels and movies for their goofy spirit and because Fletch, the journalist-turned-globetrotting author, is just a great character (and the last time Chevy Chase was truly funny.)

Before he died, MacDonald apparently collaborated with Harry Stein on the script for another "Fletch" flick, "Fletch Won." Since that one, if it ever were to happen, is rumored to possibly star Joshua Jackson in the role of our hero, it's perhaps best if it just stays dormant (though you'd have me interested with John Krasinski from "The Office".) Rest in peace, Mr. MacDonald.


Mercurie said...

That is sad about Mr. McDonald. It seems as if the past few years have not been kind to authors--Kurt Vonnegut, George MacDonald Fraser, Madeline L'Engle, Arthur C. Clarke... all gone in the past two years.

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